December 6, 2022

Graduating from Shawnee State University this month, Derek Rowe (Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio) is completing his Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from the university’s recently announced School of Nursing. After first pursuing a career in manufacturing in Cincinnati, Ohio, Rowe decided to return to his hometown to pursue his degree in Nursing.

Derek Rowe

“Since my wife and I had always wanted to return home to Portsmouth, Shawnee was the natural choice for me when the opportunity to enter the nursing field presented itself,” he said.

Debating in high school between becoming a doctor or engineer, Rowe first chose engineering because he thought there was less schooling involved. Working those six years in the field did not give him the opportunity to help people as he much as he wanted. He was looking for a career that was more fulfilling in the long term.

“I chose nursing since I could finish that out and start working after two years,” he said. “It also sets me up to eventually progress into the practitioner role.”

Rowe’s favorite part of his major is working with the great people he has been able to meet through the program.

“I have had some great professors and I have great classmates,” he said. “It's been awesome learning about how the body functions and how to take care of it, but it's the people that can't be beat.”

After graduation, Rowe plans on starting his career working at Southern Ohio Medical Center and then eventually progressing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. He is very open to furthering his education to create new career opportunities for himself.

“This news about the School of Nursing has me pretty excited,” he said.

SSU’s newly announced School of Nursing is a vital part of the university’s plan for growth of its nursing degrees and a focus on meeting the healthcare-related workforce needs of the region. The school offers a range of opportunities for students just beginning their nursing journey or licensed nurses seeking high-quality educational opportunities to further their careers. The university is also developing plans for additional pathways to nursing, accelerated degrees, and advanced degrees – including a Master of Science in Nursing.

“Even though the workload is heavy, it is very rewarding in the end,” said Rowe.

To learn more about programs within the Shawnee State University School of Nursing, visit